Archive for November, 2006

First 500 words

November 27th, 2006

I made an attempt in November to try and write a novel, but it was pretty farcical: I only managed to make time for it on the first day, and after that it was all downhill… The next four or five days I couldn’t find the spare hour, and then I was so far behind it wasn’t worth continuing. Oh well, I’ll get back to this one sooner or later.

Anyway, rather than waste all the effort I went to, the first 500 words (or so) are included in the remainder of this post. Bear in mind that this is very, very raw, I haven’t done any editing at all.

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Another T-Shirt I need to own…

November 26th, 2006


From Way of the Rodent. I’d order it, but I’ve already spent something like $200 on geeky T-shirts this year.

Victorian elections

November 26th, 2006

First off: I miss Jeff Kennet. I haven’t cared about Victorian politics very much ever since he left the scene.

That said, it seems that the Victorian government is just about where the NSW government was one term ago – getting a bit long in the tooth perhaps, but still with enough talent to justify another go. And judging from Saturday’s results, Victoria agrees with me. A swing of 4-8 seats is pretty much what everyone expected, and once again shows that oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them.

(What makes NSW so interesting at the moment is that both parties are competing very strongly to lose the election, with the Liberals trying just a little bit harder at the moment).

The claims that this was decided on ‘federal issues’ is laughable – every sign suggests that people have worked out the difference between State and Federal Labour…


November 26th, 2006

Sorry, all, for the long time between posts.

No real excuse: just a busy period at work, combined with a semi-nasty bike crash that put a temporary halt to my exercise dreams.

Anyway, I should be back at this a bit more frequently now. With any luck I’ll be able to post some good news I got recently, too, just as soon as it gets properly announced.

November 26th, 2006

Returning December 1.

Enjoying the victory

November 10th, 2006

I’ve been watching the commentators at The Corner, where they’re learning to come to terms with the election defeat of the US Republicans:

A friend of mine […] has long argued for amending  the constitution so presidents have one five year term and then can only run for one two year term. Eight years is too long.

Especially if they might be a Democrat next time…

Not only were successful conservative governors elected or re-elected in a number of states (admittedly, mostly in the South), but in a few places, Texas among them, state legislatures actually experienced a net conservative gain.

Which just goes to show what a bit of gerrymandering can do for you…

I still think we can get to victory in Iraq, broadly defined.

For instance, if I define it as ‘defeating Saddam’, we’re golden.

This Makes Me Furious […] Bolton unlikely to win Senate approval.

Because with Santorum gone we’re running out of raving lunatics on the right.

I find federal holidays that fall on weekends so confusing.

OK, no political joke here. Just funny anyway…

It’s entirely understandable and predictable that in the wake of this election liberals would go into wishful thinking mode and declare that they’ve escaped history.

Does the phrase ‘permanent conservative majority’ ring any bells?

Oh, I could do this all day. But probably shouldn’t…

What would the Middle East look like with more sensible borders?

November 9th, 2006

From the Armed Forces Journal is this article Blood borders that looks at how the Middle East would look if you drew the borders based on ethnicity, rather than the arbitrary borders drawn by the Europeans:

Middle East redrawn

It’s pretty interesting (and obviously politically impossible now). But the article mainly talks about the winners and losers in terms of land: but what about in terms of oil?

US Elections

November 8th, 2006

Great stuff in the US elections…

As expected, the Democrats are going to easily get control of the Houes. But it’s looking more and more like they’ll get control of the Senate too. Well, Lieberman willing.

As of this moment (10:10pm AEST) the Iowa Electronic Markets are suggesting a 60-95% chance of winning the senate. The most liquid market is suggesting at least 80%. But it’ll be the lawyers who decide this one in Virginia I think.

Book finds

November 4th, 2006

Found a couple of treasures in a second hand bookshop in Mogo near Batemans Bay today:

  • Diaries of a Cabinet Minister, Vol I-III. The diaries of Richard Crossman are one of the great classics of politics, and are the direct inspiration for Yes, Minister. We’ve been looking for this for years, so were very happy to find it.
  • Paul Clifford, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. By all accounts a thoroughly dreadful book. But important for its first line: “It was a dark and stormy night.” That’s right, the worst opening sentence in literature.